Clinical trials are research studies in which humans volunteer for testing to help discover what treatments are most therapeutic with the least side effects. Clinical trials are important because they help determine the course of medical care. There are bariatric surgery clinical trials for surgical weight loss candidates.
Understanding Clinical Trials
Clinical trials include: clinical research, a study in which participants answer specific health questions; interventional trials that are given in a supervised environment to assess whether experimental treatments are safe and effective; and observational trials where large groups of people are monitored in natural settings. Clinical trials are always supervised.
Diagnostic trials and quality-of-life trials are meant to help discover ways to improve the quality-of-life for those who have chronic illnesses.
Why Participate in Bariatric Surgery Clinical Trials?
Those who volunteer for clinical trials participate more in their health care, have new treatments that others cannot access, and contribute to research and the medical community.
All volunteers are screened to determine they are suitable for the study. As a clinical trial participant, the patient is typically referred to as a subject and is under the care of doctors and surgeons. The services are sometimes free or offered at reduced costs.
Bariatric surgery clinical trials usually focus on specific aspects of treatment such as whether or not bariatric surgery might reverse certain diseases. Different trials might also explore and compare the outcomes of different types of bariatric surgery.
Risk Factors of the Clinical Trial
Clinical trials can be risky in general, and might involve unpleasant and sometimes dangerous side effects.
Prior to the implementation of a clinical trial, the new therapy or medical device of interest must be approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The approval of an Institutional Review Board (IRC) is also necessary. Both consents are meant to minimize as much as possible the potential risks of the trial.
Getting into Bariatric Surgery Clinical Trials
Should you choose to participate in one of the bariatric surgery clinical trials, informed consent is required to show that you understand the facts of the trial.
Come prepared with pertinent questions such as:
- What is the purpose of the research?
- Does the trial have the approval of the Food and Drug Administration?
- Does the trial have the approval of an Institutional Review Board?
- How will the research benefit me?
- Can the research be harmful to me?
- What will be done with information from the research?
Here are a few useful resources that can help:
- The Office for Human Research Protections is a good spot to gather preparatory information.
- The National Institutes of Health is another good source for understanding clinical trials.
How to find a bariatric surgery clinical trial:
- If you wish to participate in a clinical trial about weight loss, the Clinical Trials.gov website is a good starting point. Enter the subject matter or type of research you are interested in, such as “gastric bypass surgery” or “bariatric surgery.” A list of studies will come up along with the current status of the clinical trial.
- Use the “Match to Clinical Trials in 60 Seconds” search tool located at the bottom of the right-hand column of this webpage. Just hit the start button and follow the prompts.
- You may also search for bariatric surgery clinical trials in search engines like Google. Type the name of the bariatric surgery in which you are interested, such as “gastric sleeve surgery clinical trials,” into the search bar. A list of hospitals and medical schools offering gastric sleeve surgery clinical trials will be shown in the search results.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life